Gig review: Roots Manuva - The Arches, Glasgow
ROOTS Manuva may not be the most celebrated of UK rappers but he commands a respect he does not need to demand upfront for chipping away at the Brit-hop coalface when cartoony young upstarts like Dizzee Rascal and Rizzle Kicks were still in short trousers.
As he noted towards the end of this consistently creatively charged show, he has been coming to “Glasgow city” for the past 14 years and, judging by the audience profile, most of this crowd have been with him all the way.
He cut a more sober, urbane figure than his swaggering rap progeny but that doesn’t mean he can’t get a party started or deliver a singalong hook (discerning the finer points of his rhyming was another matter).
The playful, almost vaudevillian bounce of Too Cold and the disposable dancehall ditty Move Your Shoulder provided the opportunity to project more of his character, though his two supporting MCs took care of most of the banter and introductions.
Left briefly to their own devices on stage, they pumped out some high-BPM jungle, a precursor to the ubiquitous grime and dubstep backdrop of the current generation of breakthrough rappers.
Roots’s wide-ranging backing took in a more classic spectrum of styles, exploiting the innate danceability of his soul, funk and reggae influences. Live drums and bass added rock heft to the overall sound which, though never explosive, maintained a dynamic flow from start to finish.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West